The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is the first major overhaul of telecommunications law in almost 62 years. The goal of this new law is to let anyone enter any communications business -- to let any communications business compete in any market against any other. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 has the potential to change the way we work, live and learn. It will affect telephone service -- local and long distance, cable programming and other video services, broadcast services and services provided to schools. The Federal Communications Commission has a tremendous role to play in creating fair rules for this new era of competition. At this Internet site, we will provide information about the FCC's role in implementing this new law, how you can get involved and how these changes might impact you. This page will include information listing the proceedings the FCC will complete to open up local phone markets, increase competition in long distance and other steps. You will find copies of news releases summarizing action, announcements of meetings where these items will be discussed, and charts describing the work ahead of us and where (within the FCC) and when it will be completed. Please note: some of the links on this page lead to resources outside the FCC. The presence of these links should not be taken as an endorsement by the FCC of these sites or their content. For more information about the referenced documents, contact the person listed on the document. Please let us know what topics most interest you or where you have questions about this new law. We will soon begin to post a series of Questions & Answers with Commission officials designed to answer your questions.
Text of the Act
The FCC maintains ASCII Text and Adobe Acrobat Version (128 pages) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as well as Word Perfect Version and Adobe Acrobat Version (335 pages) of the completely updated Communications Act of 1934, as amended by the 1996 Act. The official citation for the new Act is: Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub. LA. No. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56 (1996). The official printed slip law is available from the Government Printing Office.
Materials from the FCC
• Revised schedule of proceedings to implement the Act. This implementation schedule is an outline of statutory requirements pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and is a guide to the actions taken by the FCC to implement the Act. The schedule is divided into five sections. The first section identifies the specific issues and the bureau handling those issues. The second section contains the statutory language and page references to S. Rept. 230, 104th Cong. 2nd Sess. (1996). The third section identifies the FCC proceeding to implement the statutory requirement including the bureau docket number and the FCC number of the documents released related to the proceeding. The fourth and fifth sections contain information regarding the timetable and status of the proceeding. (Revised January 13, 1997) • The Report on FCC Implementation of Telecommunications Act of 1996 is a cumulative report of all actions taken since February 8, 1996, by the FCC to implement the Act. This report has two sections: (1) Commission Actions and (2) Facilitating Public Information. • Transcript of Proceedings from the FCC Telemedical Advisory Committee meeting on September 17, 1996 Word Perfect Version • Transcript of Proceedings from the FCC Telemedical Advisory Committee meeting on July 11, 1996 Word Perfect Version • Chairman Hundt's Statement and related Chairman Hundt's Report on the FCC Implementation of the Telecommunications Act presented to the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance, Committee on Commerce of the U.S. House of Representatives on July 18, 1996. • Transcript of Proceedings from the FCC Telemedical Advisory Committee meeting on June 12, 1996 Word Perfect Version • Telecommunications and Health Care Advisory Committee Members Announced (Released 6-5-96) • Nominations Accepted for the Telecommunications and Health Care Advisory Committee to Assist Implementation of the Telecommunications Act. (Released 4-25-96) • Chairman Hundt Announces Appointment of Solomon Trujillo as Interim Chairman of the Telecommunications Development Fund • Telecommunications Development Fund Request for Board of Directors Nominations • Suggestions solicited for improving FCC services and procedures • Improving Commission Processes, Notice of Inquiry, (PP Docket No. 96-17) • Statements by FCC Chairman Hundt and Commissioners Quello, Barrett, Ness, and Chong praising passage of the Act. (February 8, 1996) • 21 FCC Proposals to "Reinvent" the Agency, Adopted By the Act. (February 8, 1996)
Resources Elsewhere on the Internet
This link is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as an endorsement by the FCC of their content. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction links to information related to the Act.